SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah police officer used his service weapon when he killed his wife, two children and his mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself in January, authorities said Monday.
An investigation completed by Spanish Fork City Police was unable to determine Lindon police officer Joshua Boren's exact motive, Lt. Matt Johnson said. But investigators did learn Boren, 34, and his wife were having marital problems.
Toxicology reports from the autopsy show Boren had no drugs or alcohol in his system, and he had no history of violence or mental illness, Johnson said.
Police said the state medical examiner confirmed what investigators believed: Boren shot his wife, 32-year-old Kelly Boren; his 55-year-old mother-in-law, Marie King; and his two children, 7-year-old Joshua "Jaden" and 5-year-old Haley, before killing himself.
The shooting happened at the family's home in Spanish Fork, a city of about 37,000 located 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. The events stunned the community, as well as friends and family, said Johnson, who added investigators didn't find anybody who suspected Joshua Boren was capable of such an act.
Family and friends said Joshua Boren and his wife had been separated for some time and had reached a point where divorce was likely, Johnson said. There were no reports of physical violence, but Johnson said, "They just hadn't been getting along for several months."
Though he wasn't living at the house, friends and family said Joshua Boren still came every morning to get the kids ready for school and preschool, Johnson said. He also picked them up every afternoon.
"He was praised as being an excellent father," Johnson said.
It's unknown if the Borens discussed custody of the children, but investigators found no evidence to suggest Joshua Boren would not be able to see his kids. They also found no suicide note.
"We don't know exactly what sent him over the edge," Johnson said.
Joshua Boren had worked for the Lindon Police Department for only three months when the murder-suicide occurred. Before that, he was a Utah County sheriff's deputy for seven years, Johnson said. The Lindon department counts about 15 uniformed officers and patrols a city of about 10,000.
Friends and family said Kelly Boren, who was finance director for the city of Bluffdale, was a sweet, funny woman dedicated to her family.
Jaden was remembered as a "rough and tumble boy" who loved frogs, bugs and karate but had a soft side. Haley loved princesses, dressing up and telling stories, loved ones said.